Meet the team

We’re a growing community of entrepreneurial journalists, technologists, digital publishers and advisors who share a commitment to ensuring everyone has access to quality, trustworthy journalism. Meet our staff and advisors below. Click here to meet our publishers.

Caitlin Havlak

Co-founder & CTO

Caitlin is a developer and data analyst who uses her data and technology skills to drive audience revenue and growth potential for news outlets. She helped develop The Discourse’s audience revenue and growth strategy. She also led data journalism at The Discourse and taught data visualization at the UBC Graduate School of Journalism as an adjunct professor.

Erin Millar

Erin Millar

Co-founder & CEO

Erin is a journalist and entrepreneur who founded The Discourse, where she’s led an award-winning journalism team and developed a successful business model for in-depth local news. She also contributed to founding the Independent Media Association of Canada and C4C Canada, a charity dedicated to amplifying underrepresented voices.

A headshot of H.G. Watson.

H.G. Watson

Marketing Manager

H.G. Watson is a journalist based in Toronto. She is the former managing editor of J-Source, the Canadian Journalism Project, and is part of the team that won the 2020 Michener-L. Richard O’Hagan Fellowship for Journalism Education. Her work has appeared in Flare, Vice, TVO, Maisonneuve and more.

Rachel Chen

Audience Strategist

Rachel Chen is a Toronto-based journalist and creative writer passionate about making the world a better place. She is a Master of Information candidate at the University of Toronto. Most recently, she was an audience development editor for Postmedia and previously wrote for Chatelaine. Her freelance work has appeared in The Unpublished City II, Flare, Vice, Maclean’s and Xtra, among others.

Matthew McKinnon

Senior Product Manager & Senior Developer

Matthew McKinnon is a journalist turned technologist based in Toronto. He learned to code while working as online editor of The Walrus, and is a former instructor of digital journalism through Ryerson University. He is a past participant of the literary journalism program at the Banff Centre, and a former director of digital operations at Strategic Content Labs.

Anastasiya Razumyeyeva

UX/UI Designer

Anastasiya is a trilingual graphic designer with a background in languages. Her education in both fields made her value the combined potential of words and visuals to communicate any idea. Her experience features work with nonprofits and businesses that seek positive change. She was raised in Montreal and is now based in Vancouver.

Kathy Ristic

Chief Financial Officer

Kathy is an experienced finance professional (CPA-CMA, MBA) having led capital raises, implemented ERP systems and designed performance metrics and reporting for a wide variety of organizations and industries, including: Nortel, Astra Technologies, National Bank Financial, Kabrita, SHEEO, and the Muskoka Conservancy. Kathy is ardent about growing the next gen of impact oriented start-ups to help build a better world.

Tim Lam

Audience Strategy Manager

Tim is a writer and digital strategist who specializes in marketing, journalism, and media. His deep love for storytelling drove his career leading digital marketing in the media and ad agency world. Recently, he was the editor-in-chief for Cold Tea Collective, a platform serving the young Asian diaspora. He is a proud Simon Fraser University RADIUS Fellow and passionate about community building and civic engagement.

Kay Watanabe

Developer

Kay is a developer with a great eye for design based in Vancouver. Her decade-long experience in sales and marketing in Canada and Japan developed her customer-focused creative thinking. She brings innovative business solutions to small to mid-sized businesses in her freelance work. She is passionate about contributing to business growth through her work.

Amy Van Es

Audience Strategist

Amy is a digital strategist passionate about making the internet an equitable space. She spent the first decade of her career growing audiences in tech and publishing (most recently, as Deputy Editor at Today’s Parent) and has resolved to spend the second sharing what she learned to empower both individuals as digital citizens, and impact-driven projects.

Vanessa Reid

Developer

Vanessa is a web developer and new media specialist who is passionate about exploring the power of art and technology to engage communities through digital storytelling. She graduated with distinction from Ryerson University’s RTA School of Media and has worked on the digital teams at Deloitte, the Canadian Mental Health Association, MuchMusic/MTV, Concordia University and the Toronto International Film Festival.

Ramona Wildeman

Senior Account Executive

Ramona is a creative sales agent, passionate about community-based-journalism. Previously she worked in advertising sales with Black Press Media and as a lender with Coast Capital Savings. Ramona’s passions include connecting with people, storytelling and practising the art of observation, camera in hand.

Joe Lanane

Publisher Success Manager

Joe Lanane is a U.S.-based journalist with a passion for helping news operations establish locally and expand nationally. He helped Community Impact Newspaper grow “bigger than Texas” as executive editor, and more recently he consulted and freelanced for multiple outlets, including Local Media Association. He and his wife, Kimberly, currently travel full-time in an RV with their dog, Jordan.

Robin Perelle

Senior Digital Campaign Specialist

Robin is committed to helping reporters amplify voices too seldom heard. From her early years as staff reporter at Xtra, she stepped into the role of managing editor, spending more than a decade telling Vancouver’s LGBTQ stories before becoming editorial director nationally. At The Discourse, she learned the value of a truly collaborative newsroom devoted to filling coverage gaps, while a spin at a luxury magazine deepened her digital marketing skills.

Sam Hoisington

Digital Campaign Specialist

Sam Hoisington is a digital strategy consultant for news organizations. He is also the co-founder of Madison Minutes, a newsletter-first news startup in Madison, Wisconsin. Before Indiegraf, he was a project manager at the News Revenue Hub, where he helped dozens of publishers meet and exceed their audience and digital revenue goals.

Elizabeth Hambuchen

Digital Campaign Specialist

Elizabeth Hambuchen is a digital strategist based in the U.S. who works to build sustainability in local news. She specializes in digital campaigning and audience engagement in efforts to fundraise for independent journalism. Most recently she launched and helped manage membership and audience programs at Mississippi’s first nonprofit all-digital newsroom.

Carsen Cassell

Assistant Controller

Carsen Cassell is a Toronto-based passionate accountant set on making an impact. They have worked in a few industries, ranging from nonprofits to music royalties. Carsen brings the same intensity to finance and accounting that they did during their NCAA Track and Field Athletic Career.

Harvinder Singh

Senior Web Developer

Harvinder Singh is a senior web developer with over 10 years of experience in the web development field. He has worked on various frontend and backend focused projects involving a diverse set of technologies like PHP, Javascript, React, HTML, CSS etc. He has a passion for coding and is always eager to find solutions to the problems around product development.